News

25. May 2018

"EU is our key goal; as many chapters as soon as possible"

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stressed on Thursday that his country's "key and overarching goal" is full membership of the EU. Another goal is to open as many EU accession negotiations chapter as possible as soon as possible, Dacic told a meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the Ministerial Meeting of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, held in Catania, Sicily. "Serbia has proven to be an equal and reliable partner to the EU in the earlier years, and we are pleased that this fact was recognized, considering the amount of the political effort put to that end," he said. "Serbia is committed to the accession process in the context of which it has opened twelve negotiating chapters so far. It is our objective to open as many chapters we are prepared for as possible in the shortest timeframe possible, so that the entire governmental administration could focus on our key and overarching goal, that is, full membership of the European Union," he said. To Serbia, as well as others in the Western Balkans, an unhindered continuation of the integration process, above all a process of long and difficult reforms, is of utmost importance as we convey our expectation that unequivocal support and understanding will come from all of the EU member states, Dacic said, adding: "A progress made in the EU integration process by each of us individually has a positive impact on all the others in the region." "We believe that the EU Enlargement Policy is one of the vital instruments of the Union, not only in the context of stabilizing the region and underpinning its economic prosperity, but also towards achieving stability and security of the EU as a whole, which was, it is my hope, unequivocally affirmed again at the recent EU-WB Summit in Sofia, reflected in the reality that full membership of the EU is the only strategic option for the Western Balkan partners," the minister said. "It is towards the acceleration of the European path that we recognize the multi-faceted importance of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region: by enhancing its practical implementation we have an opportunity to closely cooperate with the administrations of other participants – EU member states, candidate and aspirant countries," Dacic said. He stressed that Serbia was at the same time closely cooperating with the European Commission, "using the mechanism enabling us to second our experts to EC structures – by which we both gain knowledge of the EC’s operation and have an opportunity to showcase the capacity of professionals working in our own governmental administration, as yet another dimension of the added value of the Strategy for Serbia." "Serbia expects that the true achievements of our regional cooperation be made visible and available, owing to macro-regional EU Strategies for the Danube Region and the Adriatic and Ionian Region, to all citizens in the region. In that respect, we are now ready to focus more attention on specific projects to be implemented through the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region," Dacic said. Priorities set for transport and energy sectors need to be coordinated with the initiatives launched in other fora (“the Berlin Process”, “the Visegrad Group”, Energy Community, etc.) so that they be seen as complementary rather than as unnecessary duplication and overlapping, he said. Dacic also pointed out to "very significant steps taken since the last AIC Ministerial Meeting, steps that proved the efficiency of close cooperation model between the participating states and the European Commission towards effective implementation of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region." "Contributing to the strengthening of regional cooperation, R. Serbia has devoted particular attention to the activities carried out in the framework of the so-called Berlin Process. Serbia has supported the implementation of regional projects jointly agreed at last year’s Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, particularly those related to infrastructure, youth investment as well as development of potential new joint projects in other sectors aiming to improve the living standard in the region prior to formally entering the EU," the minister said. At: https://www.b92.net

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